Thursday 24 May 2012
Health Achievements Celebrated in Lakes DHB HEHA Booklet
A booklet celebrating the achievements of Healthy Eating Healthy Action (HEHA) projects in the Lakes DHB area was launched at a HEHA celebration hui today by Lakes DHB Chief Executive Cathy Cooney.
The celebration was attended by a range of community organisations and health providers from across the Lakes district with a commitment to improving health outcomes through healthy eating and increasing activity in the community.
Lakes DHB HEHA Manager Theresa Thompson says the publication includes both kaupapa Maori and mainstream approaches to improving nutrition, increasing physical activity and reducing obesity.
“Celebrating HEHA at Lakes,” looks at HEHA development over the past three years by profiling 16 initiatives across the four categories of: Maori, primary care, healthy environments and breastfeeding.
“The HEHA booklet is evidence of the real health outcomes that are being achieved in a range of projects and with a number of communities across the district. It reflects the significant collaboration happening in communities, which has underpinned the achievements,” Theresa Thompson says.
Theresa says activity not funded by Lakes DHB is also included in the booklet as acknowledgement of the important contribution the organisations make to HEHA because they encourage, support, promote and link into the HEHA action plan. These examples include the work Sport Bay of Plenty and Sport Waikato do with Green Prescriptions and Active and Well programmes, and Toi Te Ora Public Health’s Kai @ the Right Price.
HEHA initiatives are undertaken in a range of settings and contexts. These include Maori community action projects, community primary care partnerships, capacity and capability building through training and development and creating healthy environments where people live work and play. All of the projects profiled in the book from nutrition workshops to promoting breastfeeding friendly spaces to instilling physical fitness as a way of life - no matter how they have been funded-are working towards the same goal, Theresa adds.
The projects showcase the potential for a greater connection between services and partnerships in action across the district, e.g. Western Heights Health Centre with Te Papa Takaro o Te Arawa and Lakes DHB dietician Glenda Gates with Korowai Aroha’s Diabetes Educator Mary Roberts.
Maori HEHA Co-ordinator Veronica Butterworth says the stories of the participants in the projects are particularly inspiring. The impact on lifestyles and health related behaviours for whanau, hapu iwi and Maori communities have the potential to improve the long term health of Maori and reduce health inequalities.
“It shows what can happen when Maori communities are supported to find their own solutions to issues and to lead the development. Solutions that are by Maori for Maori really work.
The successful outcomes of the projects highlight the strengths and capabilities that exist in whanau, hapu, iwi organisations and their contribution to achieving positive health outcomes and it demonstrates without exception the solutions are in the communities.”